The German election campaign is starting to get spicy with a new row about members of parliament abusing their privileges. And this time it concerns the chancellor herself.
Angela Merkel recently celebrated a friend’s 60th birthday at the chancellery at great expense, inviting 30 guests for Josef Ackerman, one of Germany’s richest moneymen and head of Deutsche Bank. Now it has come to light people are speculating about the pair’s relationship, and taxpayers are wondering why they should have paid for the party when Ackerman could have easily afforded it. Gesine Lotzch, Budget expert said:“Ackerman has been boasting in an interview about how he drew up the guest list. The chancellery isn’t an events agency, there’s no place for this in a democracy.” It’s a heaven-sent chance for the opposition to score some points and weaken Merkel ahead of the September 27th poll. Renate Kunast, a Green MP said: “The Chancellor must not entertain 30 guests to a meal at the expense of taxpayers unless she had defined her own work sheet.” At the end of July the SPD’s Health minister Ulla Scmidt was fiercely criticised for taking her official car and chauffeur on a Spanish trip rather than fly.